NIT Quarterfinal Penn State vS. Marquette Livestream

STILLWATER — Jeffrey Carroll flung the pass to Kendall Smith in the corner, turned around and raised his right arm and lifted three fingers.

NIT Tournament 2018 Live

The 9,635 Oklahoma State fans in a raucous Gallagher-Iba Arena rose with him, and as Smith’s 3-pointer splashed through the net, Carroll blew a kiss to the frenzied crowd.

In a second-round NIT game, in the third week of March, with OSU students off — and mostly out of town — for the week, Cowboy fans galvanized, nudging OSU toward a 71-65 come-from-behind win over a hulking Stanford squad and helping to send them to the NIT quarterfinals.

The Cowboys, feeding off the energy in the building, scored 29 fourth-quarter points to erase a five-point deficit — with Smith’s 3-pointer proving to be a dagger that put the Cowboys ahead by seven with 34 seconds left.

Smith and Carroll, two seniors who fake-sparred with each other at midcourt after the 3, led OSU to its 21st victory with 19 and 26 points, respectively. OSU’s third senior, Mitchell Solomon, put up 10 points and six rebounds and left the court to a standing ovation after his fifth foul.

The immense support — more fans showed up Monday than all but three regular-season games — told the story as much as anything.

Though Oklahoma State still feels it should have been playing in the main event, the NCAA Tournament — “I think Dick Vitale said it best,” Smith said — OSU’s two home games in the NIT so far have only strengthened the growing bond between Mike Boynton’s program and a fan base that has endured a tumultuous few seasons of hoops.

Penn State vS. Marquette Live

 The first spot in the NIT Final Four will be secured Tuesday when Marquette hosts Penn State at 7 p.m. ET. The second-seeded Golden Eagles (21-13) and third-seeded Nittany Lions (23-13) square off in a game that opened as a pick-’em before sliding to Marquette -2.5.

Penn State vs Marquette live

With so much on the line between two evenly matched teams who are unfamiliar with each other, you’ll want to see what SportsLine’s advanced computer has to say.

This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, is hammering college hoops. It entered the week on a red-hot 17-4 streak on its college basketball picks.

Now, it’s focused on in the NIT, breaking down key matchups in Marquette-Penn State and generating an ATS pick that hits over 60 percent of the time.

The model knows Marquette scored a season-high 102 points while beating Oregon on Saturday. The added 3-point distance the NIT installed (20 inches) has not slowed down the Eagles, who drained 10 threes in the first half. Andrew Rowsey hit five of them and scored 16 points in the first quarter alone.

Marquette averages 11 3-pointers per game, fifth-most in the country. Rowsey and fellow 5-foot-11 guard Markus Howard combine to form one of the more-potent 1-2 combos in the country, each averaging more than 20 points.

While Marquette comes in having won seven of nine, Penn State has won four of five, including knocking off top-seed Notre Dame in South Bend on Saturday. PSU never trailed and Tony Carr, winding down the highest-scoring sophomore season in program history, put up 24 points.

Marquette has the hot-shooting guards, but Penn State has the size, including the 6-5 Carr, 6-8 sophomore Lamar Stevens (14.7 ppg) and 6-9 sophomore Mike Watkins (12.1), though his status is in question with a knee ailment.

Penn State has been solid against the spread: 11-4 in its last 15. Marquette has been winning but not covering, on a 1-4 ATS slide.

The game will be held at the on-campus Al McGuire Center, which seats just 3,600 — instead of the 18,000-seat Bradley Center where Marquette typically plays its home games. The Eagles already beat Harvard and Oregon at the smaller venue.

So what side should you take on Penn State-Marquette? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread is hitting over 60 percent of the time, from the computer model entering the week on 17-4 run.